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United Nations Journalism Awards 2009 Launched

Skopje, 11 September 2009: The United Nations launched today this year’s competition for best examples of local journalism on topics related to poverty and social exclusion today. These are traditional awards, established in the country since 2003 and are organized to commemorate the International week for eradication of poverty (17-24 October).

Sheldon Yett, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. stated that journalists are the eyes, ears and conscience of the society, thus they should engage in investigative and analytical journalism on the topics of poverty and social exclusion.

“Poverty and social exclusion can only be successfully addressed if they are discussed openly. Journalists play an essential role in ensuring public awareness of these issues, as well as opening debate to identify the steps that need to be taken by individuals, communities and both local and national government to resolve them,” said Mr. Yett.

The UN is giving these awards to stimulate journalists to explore and report on these topics in order to give their contribution to creating the public opinion and awareness in the society, thus making changes for better livelihoods of people.

Robert Popovski, the President of the Association of Journalists, encouraged journalists to report on the mentioned topics in a more exploratory and investigative manner, as well as to apply at the contest.

A total of 12 prizes in the following categories are planned for awarding  journalism excellence:
• Best Print Article (first, second, third)
• Best TV Article (first, second, third)
• Best Radio Article (first, second, third)
• Best Photography (first, second, third)

Value of the prizes is 500 USD for the first, 300 USD for the second and 200 USD for the third prize(s).

This year, the panel of judges will include two independent media representatives, Mr. Robert Popovski and Mr. Ibrahim Mehmeti, journalist and analyst, in addition to three members of the United Nations Country Team.

The contest will be open until 27 September 2009.

Criteria for application to the UN Journalism Award:  MK  ALB

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